Sometimes I say stupid things, and I mean REALLY stupid things. I remember once when I was 11, while driving through San Fransisco streets, I stated observations about an obvious difference between Asia and America..
--the ''larger'' people. I felt a jab to my ribs, and my sister making frantic gestures at our driver whom I had't noticed was more then a ''little overweight''. I tried to fix up my mess by '' Theyre not THAT overweight, I'm sure if they worked out it wouldn't be a problem''. The more I talked the bigger the hole I dug for myself. The driver swerved, stepped on the breaks and stomped away from the car. My sister proceeded to kick me some more. I will always remember what an idiot I felt like, and how I made that poor girl feel. Moral of the story, when you don't know what to say, STFU! (Excuse the French)
We all have our opinions, which are sometimes better left unexpressed. If someone asks you your opinion, you are entitled to say what you think (and they are not entitled to get offended because they asked you.) But when you give unsolicited advice, or make negative observations about someone, in front of said someone...you are being rude plain and simple.
I hope I'm not being rude copying this article. It really struck a chord with me today.
From the artofrudeness.com
This is a HOW-TO top 10 List:
INTERRUPT, interrupt, interrupt, constantly, always, interrupt, interrupt.
Interrupt, INTERRUPT, interrupt. Interrupt, INterrrrupt.
At times preface by saying: “I don’t mean to interrupt. . . . “
Talk over. Really talk over. When you can’t interrupt talk over the other person. I mean, really. This one along with #1 are favorite of some choice Customer Service Centers, you call with an issue, they ask you to explain the problem and what happen, and then 10 seconds into a long story they interrupt telling you exactly the wrong thing and when you try to object they talk over you.
Be condescending. Don’t you just love the Rudeness Trifecta of being interrupted, being talked over all with a condescending tone? Priceless.
Change what you said before by telling the person in front of you, who was there, what happened (because they are too imbecile to understand by themselves). Say something like “You misunderstood” or, better “You’re wrong!” and then proceed with “Let me explain it to you, again, what I said was Yellow, not Red “ and/or “What I meant to say by Red was Blue”.
Instead of saying “Thank you” for something that you have received, or for something nice that someone has done for you; try to find some faults with it: “Did you see this scratch?” It helps if you have a magnifying lens or, better a microscope. In absence of any of those, just find a scratch, anything has a scratch here and there, even if it has to be an imaginary scratch, and even if you yourself have to put a scratch on while nobody is looking.
Always arrive late. And upon arrival go about business as usual, the later you are, the better. If the meeting or function has started without you, just announce “Don’t mind me, I’ll catch up”, then breathe, avoid asking any question, and make sure to use the Rudeness Trifecta to make bold statements, don’t mind that the topic has already been dealt, take control of the meeting and steer it toward your agenda, the goal is to prove the answer you already have in you. Always refer to #10.
If it’s 2:30 and the meeting or function has not started because everyone was waiting for you, just casually say: Did we say 2 o’ clock or 3 o’clock? I think we said 3 o’clock, but since we are all here early let’s just start, shall we?
Never truly apologize. Just use the “I’m sorry” as if it were a Monopoli’s Get out of jail Free card, the beauty is that you can use it over and over and over. No need to do anything else, you can continue to do what you did before, you did say “I’m sorry”. If called uponjust use the Rudeness Trifecta and say “I did say that I was sorry” you can add “what else do you want me to say?” without waiting for an answer, continue to monopolize and steer the conversation where you want it to do, interrupt if need to do so. Do not fall into the trap of saying “what else do you want me to do?”. Never do anything when someone else can do it for you, it’s called delegation, and you can take the credit for being a good delegator (note #5), or blame the other person for not doing it correctly.
Never commit to anything. Be as vague as you possibly can, just use the Rudeness Trifecta to establish authority. If called upon missed deadlines face-to-face see #9, if by phone of via email you have choices:
Do not pick up the phone call;
Pick up and say you are on the other line;
Pick up and say that you are busy in a meeting, or catching a flight, or having dinner with the Rockefellers or Bono, or make up a sad story;
“Let me look into it and I’ll get back to you”
“Call me back in a week if I haven’t gotten back to you by then”
If the call waiting beeps: “That’s another call, I have to go now”
“I never got the email, can you re-send it?”
“I am traveling to Bogota….” or “I’m about to have dinner with Bono and the Rockefellers” make sure that the bottom of the email says “Sent from my iPhone”. (Note, you can add “Sent from my iPhone” to any email sent from any computer, from home, office, gmail…..)
When a discussion takes a turn that you don’t like, you have multiple options:
Start talking about something else completely unrelated.
While the other person is talking, just casually walk away from the room.
Make a phone call, start texting, check your emails.
Use the Rudeness Trifecta and say “Don’t speak to me with that tone of voice” or“Don’t talk to me that way” or keep repeating “You’re wrong . . . . I don’t think so . . . . “. If talking about business you can always say “Why don’t you go ask someone who knows” or – especially if talking about a function of their job - “You probably don’t know it.”
For Advanced Users Only: Pull the “Look over there”, as in “Look over there, the sun is out (or the clouds), can you believe that?” make use of the Rudeness Trifecta.
As a last resort you can start to cry, male or female, it works wonders; make sure other people notice the person who made you cry.
Last, but not least: If confronted on any of the points above just proclaim “That’s Rude!“